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Public Opinion Snapshot: The Public Is Ready for Change

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Perhaps the most common theme of this election season has been the need for change. That’s hardly surprising with the economy in dire straights and a shockingly high 85 percent of Americans now saying that the country is seriously off on the wrong track in a recent CBS/New York Times poll.

Chart One

Change starts with the economy—the number one voting issue in the country, according to all polls. But the public’s agenda is broader than that, as shown by a finding from a late October NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. When asked what issues besides the economy they would like to see the new president and Congress deal with in 2009, the public ranked Iraq and Afghanistan, energy independence, and health care reform the highest, far ahead of reducing the influence of special interests and cutting taxes.

Chart Two

These data suggest that if the new president and Congress pursue serious change in 2009, the public will be ready to support them.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or


This is part of a regular column: Public Opinion Snapshot

For more from the same column, click here